Sunburn or other damage, how to respond?

Below you can see some pictures of damage to a mulberry (top) and a persimmon (two bottom pictures).

When the gardener looked at it a few months ago he said it looked like something had chewed the bark, but I wondered if it was sun damage. The surfaces which are damaged are sort of on the southwest side of the tree, more or less where afternoon sun shines.

Now the damage is done, I’m wondering how to best respond. I’ve seen videos where people recommend this product, or similar ones. Some of these products seem unreasonably expensive.

Do you think this is sunburn? If it was a tree in your yard, what would you do?

I should add, I got some pickling lime which I mixed with water and some neem oil, and I painted these wounds, along with the trunks, but it doesn’t last long. I think it was washed off/flaked off within a month.

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It’s hard to know what caused that. It may be physical damage like a buck rub.

You probably don’t need to do anything. But one option is to prune it out. I won’t buy anything expensive to treat it because I can’t see anything helping very much. If you have some interior white latex paint dilute that 50:50 with water and paint it on. That would be as much to avoid further damage as to treat current issue.

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To me it looks like freeze damage, is it possible you got a freeze before it was dormant and didn’t notice it until now? Had this happen to a kumquat, but yeah just pruned off the branches and I’d suggest the same also.

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No to either of the above. We’re in zone 10a, suburbia. We got down into the mid-30°F range at night in recent winters, such as they are here. But not freezing.

We do have squirrels, possums, and raccoons; it could have been a squirrel, but I have never seen them up in the branches chewing the bark. That doesn’t mean they don’t do that, but I don’t know for sure.


The trees will eventually heal themselves as they already started to do, but per Fruitnuts response latex paint is the best way to temporarily seal it from infections and moisture loss, meanwhile if this is wood you do not wish to prune out, I would place a temporary splint on the weaker spots while they are healing over for a couple years so that fruit load does not break the limbs at those obvious weak points. A splint should be checked frequently during the growing season to assure you are not girdling the bark doing more damage than good!
Kent, wa

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I appreciate this. I am currently cutting off any fruit shortly after it sets on the persimmon in order to encourage growth of foliage, so that is not a concern right now.

Natural is good, but I am just trying to avoid being more of an impediment to this tree’s health and well-being .

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